In recent years, e-learning has gained a lot of popularity and every aspect of courseware creation is being improved, especially the way a storyboard is designed. An e-learning storyboard is a document which combines instructions on using video, text, audio elements, still photos, graphics and interactivities wherein the information in each of the mediums is complementary to the main message. All these elements play a vital role in designing an effective storyboard. In fact, a storyboard is just like the blueprint of an online course.
There is a need to develop a storyboard clearly and accurately because the clients, editors, and the production team need to understand the storyboard easily. As David Becker, a Principal Consultant at Becker Consulting says, “The storyboard’s primary value is that it forces you to have a reason for and a consistent approach to everything you do.”
Given that a well-written storyboard is a critical component of creating superior quality eLearning courses, here are a few important elements to consider at the storyboard level:
- Learning objectives
- A brief description of the course navigation
- A detailed description of how interactions should be designed
- Instructional strategies to guide learners
- Information on audio cues such as music or sound effects along with file names
- A proper format that arranges the lessons or topics
- Accurate feedback for assessments
A storyboard template usually contains basic areas such as:
- Title Area: This area usually contains the name of a unit, topic or module.
- Screen Number Area: Every screen has a unique identifier. For example m1l2s1 stands for module1 lesson2 screen1.
- Visual Area: Visuals, graphics, video clips etc. are shown in this area. Text can also be included here.
- Audio Area: Scripts, name of a music file, sound effects, etc. are included in this area.
- Interaction Area: This area describes the interactions on each screen. A wide variety of activities can be provided.
Given below are some additional tips that have to be kept in mind while developing an e-learning storyboard:
- Make the storyboard Learner-centric. This might sound simplistic, but many instructional designers sometime lose track of this simple fact when neck deep in content.
- Ensure that an effective instructional strategy is applied.
- Content flow needs to be aligned with the learning objectives.
- Structured learning objectives must help the learner understand the course.
- Make sure that the screen is not cluttered excessively with graphics and content.
Developing a well-crafted storyboard is critical to the development of an effective course. Storyboards are important-use them well!
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In my previous blog, Checklist for content standardization in eLearning- Part 1, I have discussed the grammatical rules that every instructional designer (ID) should follow while developing a storyboard. In this blog, I would like to share some guidelines on sentence structuring, style and important elements of an online course.
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– Cammy Bean
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What we learn with pleasure we never forget. – Alfred Mercier
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